Posts Tagged ‘2019 Regional Meeting’

SMART TD Regional Meeting: President Previsich says FRA action will not go unchallenged

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — In closing remarks to the SMART Transportation Division Regional Meeting July 3, TD President John Previsich said that recent actions of government agencies under the umbrella of the federal Department of Transportation will not go unchallenged.

Actions by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regarding safety issues have shown that those agencies have stepped away from their duties of overseeing the safety of communities and of the nation’s transportation workers, he said.

SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich addresses the closing session of the San Diego Regional Meeting at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel on July 3.

The FRA’s withdrawal of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in May plus a similar action within days by the FMCSA that withdrew a notice regarding bus operator safety is a starting point to what will be a challenging period for our union, Previsich said.

All options, including litigation, are being explored to challenge what Previsich had described in testimony before a U.S. House Subcommittee as FRA’s abdication of its safety oversight responsibilities by withdrawing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding minimum crew size. Attorneys general from every state that have implemented legislation requiring two-person freight crews are being invited to join with labor to protect the state laws.

The effort will address FRA’s abuse of authority by withdrawing the NPR, ignoring the comments that were overwhelmingly in favor of a two-person crew rule and the agency’s attempt to pre-empt state laws. It will be a “concerted” effort with other labor organizations.

Previsich said that the union is planning on a multi-faceted approach to take on FRA while also challenging Congress to pursue legislation to correct FRA’s refusal to oversee safety on the nation’s railroads.

Attendees at the July 3 closing session of the San Diego Regional Meeting listen to TD President John Previsich’s remarks at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel.

State legislative action surrounding two-person rail crews also will be ongoing, he said, and more details of our efforts as well as additional actions for members to take will be communicated in the near future.

“There is going to be a big push coming,” Previsich said. “We are going to reach out to you when the proper time comes and ask for your assistance. I think your members will be proud of their union and where we’re going with this.”

To do something immediately, members should take the time to watch the video of the House subcommittee hearing. There they will see who supports our efforts, and what opponents are saying.

All brothers and sisters should then contact their legislators directly to explain our issues to their U.S. House and Senate representatives, and why the current bills regarding transportation safety are important. An in-person visit, an option advocated by National Legislative Director John Risch during the Regional Meeting’s opening session, helps to personalize and drive these issues home no matter what political party the public official identifies with.

The TD Legislative Action Center is a one-stop repository that has information on federal bills advocating bus and transit operator safety, freight rail crew size and yardmaster safety.

Our brothers and sisters also should donate to the SMART TD PAC.

“There’s nothing more important in this environment today — in this political climate that we’re in — that we get access, and we get access through PAC,” Previsich said.

On the second day of the meeting, SMART General President Joseph Sellers, Jr. addressed the new leaders in attendance and encouraged them to take advantage of all resources available to them in both the Washington, D.C., and in the Cleveland offices.

The TD Regional Meeting theme — “Your Union Leading the Way” — was particularly appropriate this year — members “need to understand that ‘Your union’ is our union … 200,000 members are part of our union,” Sellers said. “And ‘leading the way’ means you leading the way, meaning us leading the way meaning leaders and members leading the way.”

In a time of upheaval in the industries that SMART members are employed in, efforts to grow the organization will continue to be a priority, and officers will take an important role in those efforts.

“We must continue to grow. We must organize, organize, organize — internal organizing, external organizing, making sure every worker is a SMART member,” Sellers said.

SMART General President Joseph Sellers, Jr., delivers opening remarks on Tuesday, July 2, the second day of the SMART Transportation Division Regional Meeting in San Diego, Calif.

From all levels of the union, it is up to everyone to take responsibility for the safety of themselves and build and maintain a strong foundation and maintain a powerful and nimble network that can take collective action to protect ourselves and the legacy our union represents, Sellers said.

“I want to make sure that we continue to build that foundation, that we continue to form this union so that future generations will have the same opportunity, enjoy that same representation, enjoy the same benefits of a collective bargaining agreement and enjoy a retirement particularly at a time when many people won’t have a retirement or work pension.”

Support from the SMART Army has brought results — members’ efforts beat back Right to Work For Less legislation in Washington one day after a call for mobilization at the state’s Capitol, and helped to get two-person crew legislation passed in Colorado and Nevada this year. They’ve also mobilized to defend proposed pension changes in Congress.

“As we build that, we will do better,” he said.

To join, text SMART Army to 21333.

In closing the meeting, Previsich announced that the 2020 TD Regional Meeting will be held in its home base of Cleveland, Ohio, at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown from Aug. 24 to 26.

The three-day San Diego meeting at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel featured more than 30 educational workshops intended to assist officers and strengthen our union at every level.

Regional meeting hotel discount deadline extended until June 11

Due to increased demand, additional discounted rooms have been secured at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel for SMART Transportation Division’s Regional Meeting from June 30 to July 3, 2019, in San Diego.

Members now can reserve rooms at a discounted rate until June 11.

At the meeting in San Diego — home to a world-renowned zoo and spectacular ocean views -— members can expect informative workshops and many chances to build camaraderie with your fellow union brothers and sisters.

See details of the two tours and the Tuesday night ballpark event to watch the San Diego Padres play the San Francisco Giants at Petco Park (shown at right) planned for registered guests. Space to both the tours and to the baseball game is limited.

As a reminder, the deadline for SMART TD members to receive a discounted meeting registration for themselves and guests is June 17. After that deadline, on-site registration is available during the meeting and costs $200.

More information, including updates about workshops, discount information for flights, rental cars and the Hilton Bayfront, the event’s host hotel, is available at this link.

SMART TD hopes that you’ll attend what will prove to be both an informative and enjoyable regional meeting this summer!

2019 Regional Meeting: Night at Padres’ Petco Park offers food and fun

SMART Transportation Division has a grand slam of a time planned at San Diego’s Petco Park for registered attendees of the 2019 Regional Meeting on the evening of Tuesday, July 2.

Food, fun and baseball will be the name of the game as registered meeting attendees watch the Padres take on the National League West rival San Francisco Giants at the Padres’ home field, a short walk from the host Hilton Bayfront Hotel.

Attendees can feast on summer favorites and ballpark classics from the grill, including barbecue chicken, hot dogs and more on the historic Western Metal Building rooftop (pictured above) in left field. Food and beverage service will begin one hour prior to first pitch at 7:10 p.m. Food service will be available for two hours, and beverages will be available through the seventh inning.

The game can be enjoyed from the Western Metal rooftop, the terrace-level sports bar “The Loft,” or from adjoining seats at “The Rail.” Traditional seats are also available in Sections 226 and 228.

Members will have a chance to mingle and make memories with their guests, families and union brothers and sisters during this exciting night at Petco.

Admission to the ballpark event is included with a paid registration to the TD Regional Meeting taking place July 1 – 3, 2019, at San Diego’s Hilton Bayfront Hotel.

Don’t delay! Register today online or via mail-in form.

Tour schedule set for San Diego Regional Meeting

A pair of tours has been finalized on June 30 and July 1 for attendees of the 2019 SMART Transportation Division Regional Meeting in San Diego.

Day 1 (June 30): High Spirits Hornblower yacht luncheon/tour: Attendees will be picked up at the hotel dock at 9:45 a.m. to enjoy sightseeing on San Diego Bay with a professionally narrated harbor tour. More than 50 historic landmarks are covered by the 13-mile Big Bay cruise. Attendees will enjoy lunch on board and see marine animals and majestic sea birds on High Spirits, which was originally constructed as a sister ship to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidential yacht, the Sequoia. Attendees will arrive back at the dock at 1 p.m., giving them time to spare to visit Seaport Village, which is within walking distance, before the Regional Meeting’s opening reception Sunday evening.

Day 2 (July 1): Old Time Trolley ride and visit to the San Diego Zoo: Attendees will take a trolley from the Hilton Bayfront Hotel at 8:45 a.m. and travel to the world-renowned San Diego Zoo, home to thousands of exotic animals. Guided bus tours of the 100-acre zoo will allow visitors the chance to encounter the zoo’s more than 3,500 rare and endangered animals representing more than 650 species and subspecies and its prominent botanical collection with more than 700,000 exotic plants. A slate of wildlife shows and an airborne shortcut over the treetops will give visitors an unforgettable experience as they encounter the zoo’s animal and plant collection and surrounding Balboa Park. Lunch vouchers provided on the tour will allow attendees to customize their visit to their interests, and the tour group will return to the hotel at about 3:30 p.m.

Tour costs are $35 per person for registered guests of the regional meeting and $75 per person for guests who are not registered for the regional meeting. Follow this link to register online or you can download a fillable PDF version of the regional meeting registration form and mail in your registration.

Additional information and tickets to the tours will be distributed during on-site registration at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel, noon to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 29, or 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, June 30.

Registration is open for SMART TD’s 2019 regional meeting in San Diego

Registration is open for the 2019 SMART Transportation Division regional meeting to take place July 1 to 3 in San Diego, Calif., at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel.

Members can expect a full slate of informative workshops and many chances to build camaraderie with your fellow union brothers and sisters over the three-day meeting, which will be the lone regional meeting of the year because of the August SMART Transportation Division and general conventions.

A completed registration form and payment must be received by no later than June 17, 2019, to be considered pre-registered. The price for registration for pre-registered guests is $150 per guest. Registration for children ages 11 and under are complimentary. Registrations received after June 17 will be charged an on-site registration fee of $200. Additional fees apply for tours.

The registration fee covers all workshop materials, a welcome reception, three lunches and one evening meal. Those wishing to attend only the workshops do not need to register or pay the $150 fee.

You may cancel your meeting registration 10 days prior to the first day of the meetings without penalty. Call the Transportation Division at 216-228-9400 or email btaylor@smart-union.org immediately regarding changes or cancellations to your registration.

Visit this link to register online.

Visit this link for the mail-in registration form.

Discounted hotel reservations are available. Guests are welcome to make reservations using this link or by calling 1-800-Hiltons and mentioning the group code “SMART.”

The cutoff date to make discounted reservations at the hotel is May 28, 2019.

Additional details will be updated on the Regional Meeting page of the SMART Transportation Division website as it becomes available.

President Previsich announces date, site for 2019 TD Regional Meeting

SEATTLE — SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich announced July 4, on the final day of the TD Regional Meeting in Seattle, the location of the 2019 regional meeting.

The Hilton San Diego Bayfront in San Diego, host to the 2014 SMART TD convention, will host SMART TD’s regional meeting from July 1 – 3, 2019.

The meeting in San Diego will be the lone regional meeting next year because it is a convention year.